Editor's Note: The generation was classed as PC, Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii. If we included handhelds, these lists would never have been finished…
The Master Chief is an incredibly boring character and those Warthogs drive really badly, but Halo 3 is one of the best games I've ever played - it was the game that really introduced me to the world of Xbox Live multiplayer. I remember a Christmas afternoon online and how strange it felt to be talking into a headset rather than relying on a keyboard for my hilarious smack talk.
Friends were made, enemies were publicly shamed, and all in all it was a very different way of playing video games for a young Christopher Bratt. Despite some issues with matchmaking, it proved a fantastic example of why Xbox Live could legitimately justify a subscription fee in my eyes. I still see Halo 3 as having one of the best multiplayer infrastructures on the console in terms of allowing you to play with your friends with ease.
Setting up lobbies was straightforward enough, but I loved that the game allowed you to bring in players locally and take them into online matches with you - something few games tend to support. My college days were spent well, with a group of hardened Halo veterans in the never-ending quest for the next Skill Rank.
Oh they were the best of times. The very best of times.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Ten hours into a campaign and everything goes south. Did I move in too quickly? Or have I just been screwed over by XCOM's buggy spawning system once again? Oh well, I suppose it doesn't really matter anymore. My veteran soldiers are all dead, the Council has given up on me, and there’s no coming back from this. Ten hours into a campaign and it's game over.
It took me around 15 attempts to complete Enemy Unknown on Classic Ironman and every single time I named my soldiers, customised their armour, grew attached to them and watched them get torn apart one by one. It's emotionally devastating and all kinds of frustrating at times, but man, what a ride.
After playing so many games which are terrified that you won't succeed, it was a wonderful change in pace to play one that properly punished you for making mistakes. Decisions felt important and the tension wasn't scripted well in advance.
XCOM, I'm sorry I didn't know you before, but I sure am glad that you're back.
I've heard a lot of people compare Minecraft to playing with a big box of Lego. That’s a fairly decent way of describing the appeal of the game, but it doesn't really do it justice in my mind.
For me, it's that mentality but you can play it with people from all over the world with the click of a button. Then, you can probably have a solid crack at recreating your house at a 1:1 scale, or a castle, or y'know... King's Landing if you've got a few weeks...
It's a game about imagination and teamwork and logging into your friend's server to hide TNT underneath their favourite buildings. It's a game that you can play with your best mate, or an architect, or your nan. It's a game that has changed independent game development forever and showed that even a very small team can make something unbelievably successful with the right idea in mind.
I may have grown up with games like Mario, Pokémon and Final Fantasy (which explains a lot), but many of this generation will likely remember Minecraft as the game of their childhood. How freaking cool is that?